Sigeumchi Namul (Korean Spinach Side Dish)

Sigeumchi namul is an easy Korean side dish (banchan) made with spinach. Simply blanch the spinach and season it. This recipe shows different ways to season the spinach.
Sigeumchi namul (Spinach side dish)
Sigeumchi namul (시금치나물) is a simple Korean side dish (banchan, 반찬) made with spinach. Namul is the general term that refers to a seasoned vegetable dish, and sigeumchi means spinach in Korean. 
There are an infinite number of vegetables that are made into nauml dishes in Korea. Spinach is one of the most common ones. It typically is served as part of the three color vegetable dishes (samsaek namul) served on traditional holidays. Sigeumchi namul is also highly common in bibimbap.

Although the cooking time and seasonings vary, making namul dishes with green leafy vegetables usually involves blanching the vegetables and squeezing out the water content, followed by seasoning with a few basic ingredients. If you have these simple techniques down, you can make namul dishes with many different vegetables!  Try it with baby kale, watercress, snow pea tips, etc. 
Spinach seasoned with gochujang is in a small dish
As I usually do for my bibimbap recipe, you can simply season the spinach with salt along with some minced garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds. 
You can also season the spinach with guk ganjang, 국간장 (Korean soup soy sauce) instead of salt. Guk ganjang is a byproduct of making doenjang, 된장 (Korean fermented soybean paste). While it’s better known as soy sauce for soups, it’s also commonly used in namul dishes, especially in country cooking. It adds a little umami boost to the vegetables!
Another ingredient that’s great for sigeumchi namul is gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste). Gochujang gives so much flavor and a little spicy kick!
Try all these different options and let me know which one is your favorite. 
Korean spinach side dish

More vegetable side dishes:

Watercress Namul
Putbaechu (Young Cabbage) Doenjang Muchim
Sesame Broccoli 
15 Korean Vegetable Side Dishes

If you tried this recipe, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out for you in the comment section below.  Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Korean spinach side dish

Sigeumchi Namul (Korean Spinach Side Dish)

5 from 4 votes
Side Dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe



  • 1 bunch spinach about 10 ounces
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons guk ganjang, 국간장 (soup soy sauce) or use salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 bunch spinach about 10 ounces
  • 1 scallion chopped
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons gochujang 고추장 (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  • Trim off the roots from the spinach. Wash thoroughly until there is no sand in the water. Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water until wilted, 20 to 30 seconds.
    blanching spinach in a pot
  • Quickly remove the spinach from the pot and shock in icy cold water to stop the cooking.
    blanched spinach is being cooled in ice water
  • Drain and gently squeeze out excess water. Cut into 3-inch lengths.
    Squeezed spinach being cut into bite sizes
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix everything well by hand, loosening/separating the spinach pieces that have been clumped up together. It will take about 10 minutes for the flavor of the seasonings to seep into the spinach.
    Blanched and squeezed spinach being mixed with Korean seasoning


Have a bowl of ice water ready before blanching the spinach. 
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This recipe was originally posted in February 2011. It’s been updated with new photos and more information.